Hello all! This is a little reminder that my yearly heartworm clinics will be starting up again the first Saturday in April (the 7th). I will be testing for heartworm disease and dispensing preventive medicine at my clinic all Saturdays in April, and there will not be an office visit charge. No other services are offered on the Saturday clinics.
In case you are not aware of what heartworm disease is, here’s a brief explanation. Heartworms are actual worms that live in the hearts of dogs that are infested. They are a bit smaller than earthworms, although they can grow to be quite long. If enough of them take up residence in the dog’s heart there will be coughing and eventually they can interfere with the dog’s breathing. This parasite is also beginning to affect cats, mostly in areas outside of Colorado.
Transmission from dog to dog is carried out by a mosquito biting an infected animal and obtaining the larval stage in it’s mouthparts, and then biting another dog and injecting the baby heartworm into the new dog. This larval stage migrates through the dog’s bloodstream and ends up in its heart, where it grows to adulthood. This takes about 6 months.
Prevention takes the form of killing the larvae as they begin their journey. Giving the oral prevention once a month during mosquito season, when the dog is susceptible to being infected, stops this disease in its tracks! That is our goal, and we test before giving the medicine because we don’t want to miss any positive dogs. Treatment for this disease is usually successful but is very expensive and dangerous for the patient. So let’s do what we can to prevent this life threatening disease from affecting our own precious friends and from spreading through the dog population in our neighborhoods.
For more information go to www.heartwormsociety.org
Thanks for reading this! If you would like to set up an appointment for the Saturday clinics give us a call at 970-532-4990